Dogfish Head was founded in June of 1995 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Although Dogfish Head started as the smallest commercial brewery in America it has grown so much they sell nearly 20 styles of beer in more than 25 states across the country. Join The Hoppy Brewer in a Dogfish Head beer event on Thursday, September 8th at 6:00pm and learn more about Dogfish Head below.
Not only was Dogfish Head Delaware’s first brewpub, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. Our very first batch, Shelter Pale Ale, was brewed on a system which essentially was three little kegs with propane burners underneath. Brewing 12–gallon batches of beer for a whole restaurant proved to be more than a full time job. When the doors to the pub first opened, we brewed three times a day, five days a week! The one benefit to brewing on such a small system was the ability to try out a myriad of different recipes. We quickly got bored brewing the same things over and over – that’s when we started adding all sorts of weird ingredients and getting kind of crazy with the beers!
The beer wasn’t the brewpub’s only draw. The pub’s menu centered on a wood-burning grill. We soon became known as the place to enjoy fresh grilled seafood, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. The wood–burning grill imparts a unique flavor to everything on the menu, whether it’s a hearty sandwich, a delicate piece of fish or our signature pizza dough.
With the popularity of the pub growing, it was quickly apparent that the 12–gallon brewery would not keep up with demand. We built a new brewery and underwent a thirty-fold expansion of the brew house!
The reputation of Dogfish Head ales quickly grew beyond Delaware’s borders. Calls from Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and beyond poured in, as thirsty restaurant patrons demanded their favorite beach beer at home. We began bottling our Shelter Pale Ale in 1996 and just 1 year later we expanded again – this time we separated the packaging operation from the restaurant, and kept on brewing! By 1999, we were up to five year–round bottled brands in about a dozen states.
Stay updated on our live music, beer events, and home brewing club meetings by checking out The Hoppy Brewer Events Calendar.
SRC: Learn about Dogfish Head Brewery at: www.dogfish.com/company